Commissioners expected to pick South Bridge alternative this week |

Commissioners expected to pick South Bridge alternative this week

John ColsonPost Independent staffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The quiescent South Bridge project comes back to life this week, when the Garfield County commissioners are expected to pick one of two alternative routes for a proposed new bridge over the Roaring Fork River.The county commissioners will be asked to pick one of two alternatives – known as 8b and 10b – at a meeting today.The commissioners listened to the consultants’ views of the matter at a work session last Tuesday, primarily from Craig Gaskill of Jacobs Engineering in Denver.Garfield County and the city of Glenwood Springs have formed a partnership to build a new connection from south Glenwood Springs to Highway 82, in the vicinity of the old Buffalo Valley restaurant.The issue quieted last year after the county commissioners voted against moving ahead with an environmental assessment, and the project was put on hold. The City Council, however, voted in January to revive the project, and the county is involved once again. Both alternatives now under discussion would require a tunnel beneath the Glenwood Municipal Airport runway, connecting to a new bridge across the river and a road leading to a new intersection with Highway 82.An extensive review of the alternatives, according to Gaskill’s presentation, indicated that alternative 10B, which would be located farther south than 8b, would have fewer impacts on existing properties, including Buffalo Valley and Mountain View Church, and would cost significantly less than alternative 8b.The project is loosely estimated to cost at least $29 million.At last week’s work session, Commissioner Tom Jankovsky indicated he favors alternative 10b. The other commissioners did not express a preference. Because the discussion took place during a work session, no formal vote was taken.The City Council has yet to vote on its preferred alternative.The elected bodies can choose either 10b or 8b, or a “no build” alternative.Gas development issues also on agendaAlso on the agenda for today’s county commissioners meeting are items concerning oil and gas development in Garfield County. One of the items involves reconsideration of previous requests from the county that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission conduct a public forum on applications by Antero Resources to build well pads just outside the Battlement Mesa community boundary.Another, similar item involves a request for a public forum concerning an EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) application for a well pad just outside the Battlement Mesa boundary.The commissioners meeting begins at 8 a.m. and is held at the county administration building, 108 Eighth St. in Glenwood Springs.The agenda for the meeting can be viewed on the county’s website,

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